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County Introduces Online Pet Licensing

August 4, 2015

Montgomery County government is now offering online pet licensing services to County residents. This new user-friendly service increases the ease of compliance with Montgomery County law that requires a pet license for all dogs and cats four months of age or older. All that is needed is a current rabies vaccination certificate and a credit card.

   “The safety of all of our residents is a priority, and that includes their pets,” said County Executive Ike Leggett. “The law requiring pet licenses and valid rabies vaccinations improves the safety of both our human and animal population. I am pleased that being able to apply for a pet license online will streamline this important process for so many of our pet owners.”

   A license is still required even if a pet is always confined to private property, remains exclusively indoors or lives on a farm. The fine for an unregistered/licensed pet is $100. The fine for not having a dog or cat vaccinated for rabies is $500.

   “Montgomery County residents are passionate about their pets,” said Police Chief Tom Manger. “Getting your pet licensed shows you care about them, and it’s the law.”

   Pet licensing can save a pet’s life. One of the most important benefits of pet licensing is proof that a pet is up-to-date with its rabies vaccination. A license can only be obtained with proof that a rabies vaccination is current. Valid rabies vaccinations make the entire community safer.

   In the event of an emergency, a license tag greatly expedites contacting the pet owner to ensure that an injured pet gets the most appropriate emergency care.

   “I am so thrilled about this opportunity to promote both the importance and benefits of pet licensing, while promoting the ease and convenience of purchasing your pet’s license through Montgomery County’s new online pet-licensing system,” explained Tom Koenig, director of the Montgomery County Animal Services Division. “For many of our pet owners, online pet licensing is the ideal way to avoid the cost and inconvenience of purchasing a pet license through the mail or in person.”

   Pet licensing also increases the number of pets which are reunited with their owners. The license on a pet’s collar is the fastest way to find the owner when a pet is found. Even if a pet has a microchip, a license tag is immediately visible and doesn’t require a scanning device to read.

   To help inform the County’s pet-owning community about the requirements of pet licensing and the new online application and renewal service, an educational campaign, “If you love them, you’ll license them,” is being launched. The goal of the campaign is to increase knowledge of the law and understanding of why it is important to the health and safety of both humans and pets.

   Pet licensing is also beneficial for these reasons:

   A pet license may be used to legally identify that a dog or cat belongs to you in the event there is a dispute of ownership;

  • Pet owners who license their pets are typically known to be responsible animal caregivers who are likely to invest in their pet’s welfare;

  • Pet licensing information is maintained in a County database system with the Animal Services Division that can be made available to other County or State agencies or officials with information that could be used to protect or possibly save your pet; 

  • The funding provided by pet licensing may be used to assist the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center with enforcement activities including large-scale hoarding cases and cruelty investigations, as well as with programs designed to re-home pets or to promote the care and welfare of animals in our community.

   In addition to the new online licensing program, Montgomery County pet licensing, with written proof of a current rabies vaccination, can also be obtained through the mail or in-person at the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center.

   For more information, go to the “Licensing” icon on the Animal Services and Adoption Center website, www.montgomerycountymd.gov/animalservices.

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